About This Artwork

Henri Rousseau
French, 1844–1910

Oak Branch, 1907/08

Pen and gray ink on cream wove paper
159 x 109 mm

Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection, 2013.1019

According to his close friend, artist Robert Delaunay, all of Rousseau’s drawings were destroyed after his death. However, as the inscription indicates, this rare drawing was a gift from the artist to a certain “Mademoiselle Herminie,” and it survived as a result. Rousseau often used flowers in his work for their symbolic meanings. He was particularly fond of daisies, which traditionally represent innocence and purity. Perhaps a more heartfelt message was intended here, as the petals of daisies are often plucked, one by one, to find out if one is loved: “she loves me, she loves me not.”

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